Over the past twelve months there's been a lot of discussion about using relational approaches to manage classroom behaviour. But, is this approach more effective than a traditional reward and consequences strategy?
In this special School Behaviour Secrets episode, we have brought together the advice of two leading specialists, Kevin Hewitson and Pamela Tseu. We discuss the impact of a relational approach and they reveal how to make this approach successful in your classroom.
See Pamela Tseu's 7 Classroom Management Tools.
Kevin's Book: If You Can't Reach Them, You Can't Teach Them
Kevin's website and online resources: Creativity In Education
Get our FREE Classroom Management Scoresheet here: Download here
Join our Inner Circle membership programme: Inner Circle
Download other FREE behaviour resources for use in school: Free SEMH resources
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Show notes / transcription
Kevin Hewitson 0:00
This is so important. As soon as teachers stop being learners, they forfeit the right to be teachers, teachers should always remain learners. And you have to take on a challenge that pushes yourself outside of your comfort zone. And by doing so you reconnect with the learning process.
Pamela Tseu 0:18
Students want to succeed, they want to. They don't wake up in the morning saying, I am going to mess up my teacher's life today. They go, I want to succeed today. And when we are clear, and we care about them, we change the trajectory for their day, or for their career or for their lifetime, right? Because we are giving them the tools that they need to be successful. And when we do that, of course, they're gonna want to behave.
Simon Currigan 0:42
Hi there. My name is Simon Currigan. And welcome to the latest episode of school behaviour secrets. In fact, this is the 66th episode of the podcast. So we're at an age where we should be past retirement. And from the tone of the letters and emails we get each week I gather retirements something our listeners have been begging us to consider all the way since episode one.
Emma Shackleton 1:44
Simon Currigan 1:45
Well, they just keep asking us to stop. That was the voice of my co host, Emma Shackleton. Hi, Emma.
Emma Shackleton 1:50
Simon Currigan 1:51
Emma, I'd like to start by asking you a question. Can you tell me about something difficult that you've achieved and why you did it?
Okay, well, the first thing that springs to mind is learning to play roller derby. It was a sport I'd never even heard of. But I got interested in it and decided that I wanted to learn how to play. Roller Derby was something completely different to anything that I'd ever done before. And it took a lot of dedicated practice. But I really loved learning a completely new skill and being part of a team. So why do you ask what's the link with today's episode?
Well, we've spoken to a lot of experts from around the world about improving behaviour in classrooms, removing barriers to success, getting kids emotionally settled and achieving their potential. And one trend over the last 12 months has been the move towards relational approaches to managing classroom behaviour.
You mean a push towards using relationships to manage behaviour in class rather than just relying on rewards and consequences?
Yeah, absolutely. And as this is a hot topic at the moment, I wanted to bring together the advice of two experts who spoke to us on this topic, Kevin Hewitson, and Pamela Tseu in a kind of masterclass about how to make that happen in the classroom. They explained to us in a step by step way, how they used the power of relationships to create productive, happy classrooms, the methods they use to get kids to behave and engage with their work because they want to, not because the adult is using carrot and stick, and I thought this was the perfect time to revisit those methods.
Perfect. But before we get to that, I've got a quick request to make. If you're listening to the show, and you'll find the content and strategies useful. Please don't keep them to yourself. Share this information with your friends and colleagues, so that they spread and support kids in as many classrooms as possible. The easiest way of doing this is to open your podcast app, click the share button, and send it to two or three of your colleagues who'd benefit. It'll only take you a few seconds. So Simon, where are we going to start?
We're going to start with Kevin Hewitson and his framework for engaging hard to reach classes called P B, C, F. Here's his explanation. I'd like to welcome our guest on the school behaviour secrets podcast today. His name is Kevin Hewitson. Kevin's got over 40 years of experience in teaching, and has held pastoral and subject to lead roles, as well as working as Assistant Principal responsible for teaching and learning strategies. He now works independently as an educational consultant, author and speaker. Kevin's author of the book, 'If You Can't Reach Them, You Can't Teach Them' which is all about why forming relationships with pupils is the key to unlocking their success, especially for pupils with emotional and behavioural issues. And in this interview, he is going to guide us through his four part framework for doing exactly that. Kevin's not only incredibly knowledgeable but he also backs that knowledge up with practical strategies and techniques. Kevin, welcome to the show.
Kevin Hewitson 5:03
Thank you, Simon. And thank you for the opportunity of talking about my work.
Simon Currigan 5:07
So let's jump straight in with the question. Why do you think that kids and I'm particularly thinking here about hard to reach kids, Why do they need a relationship with an adult to manage their behaviour and emotions in class?
Kevin Hewitson 5:20
Many children of that nature have a limited agency, they have very few tactics to deal with the challenges that they face. And we would normally develop those in a company of adults. And as a result of a loving and safe relationship where that is missing or where there's an adult missing in that relationship. Those strategies tend not to be so well developed in a social sense. So they tend to be survival strategies. And think these are often seen in schools as aggressive in nature, or provocational. And often involve a sort of element of bravado, where the tactic is successful, then it tends to be repeated. And even when it's not initially successful, they will tend to escalate, children will escalate far more than any teacher will do in a sort of challenging situation. There's that whole thing about fight and flight isn't that, you know, when we feel under threat, how we would tend to respond by trying to limit our exposure to the challenges that we're facing. And pupils tend to want to get out of the classroom, and we'll do anything to do that. But if you've got a relationship, those calming words, that reassurance that can help deescalate. Well, okay, I acknowledge what you're going through, I acknowledge what you are feeling. But let's try and deal with this together. And without that relationship, you'll never get to that point. So it's important that we see behaviour as a symptom of need. And when we do that, then we can begin to address the need, and then through that the behaviour.
Simon Currigan 6:45
So you've got a four part framework for building relationships with kids that you've labelled p, b, c, f. And to make this easy to remember, you've given it a label, please be child friendly. But what does PBCF mean? And how did you develop your framework for building relationships with kids?
Kevin Hewitson 7:03
PBCF stands for four learner engagement needs that I have identified as key in learning and teaching. So each letter stands for one of those needs. So we have power, belonging, choice, and fun. And as you say, to make it memorable, you can say, "please be child friendly". But because this also works with adults, you can say "please be colleague friendly", because adults have got the same engagement needs as children.
Simon Currigan 7:32
Ok then tell us about how the P for Power helps adults in the classroom build relationships with students.
Kevin Hewitson 7:39
Well, first of all, power has got a bad press. So I want to distinguish that we're not talking about domination, control, bullying, sarcasm, or that sort of thing. Power to me is to have a voice to be listened to, and to be able to contribute to the learning experience. If we don't listen to pupils, then I don't think we will ever understand their needs or their behaviour drivers, or to begin to understand the way they are behaving in teaching. The need for pupils voice should not be seen as a power struggle. And I think that's one of the challenges to teachers, we know that whether a sufficient energy or motivation to be heard, it can lead to a conflict because people get passionate, they have something they want to say. And if they don't feel as though they're being heard, we get louder. I'm always reminded of seeing a kid in a supermarket telling mommy in a gentle way that they wanted some of those crisps on that shelf when mommy ignored "Mommy I want" and then when mommy still ignored it was the crying tantrum tears throw the dolly out the pram time. So yeah, we have to be aware of that. If we're not listening, then we can actually be building up energy which can you know, like a volcano explode. If you're in conflict, there'll be no progress in developing relationship at all. And that's key. So conflict is not always an outburst or noisy either. Conflict can be internalised kids can switch off. So we have to be aware of that as well. What's the point? Nobody ever listens to me? Yeah?
Simon Currigan 9:13
So what kind of practical strategies can teachers use to help improve power in the classroom in your part of the framework? What would it look like in the classroom?
Kevin Hewitson 9:22
Achieving power can take the form of mastering a skill or a subject or acquiring a responsibility, often as a reward for an action over time. It's preferable in schools I think that ultimately, pupils reach the understanding that knowledge and learning can bring a form of power that satisfies their need. So common strategies, allocating duties and responsibilities to pupils even for things that you would normally do. It's useful to engage with the pupils and offer them an opportunity to be involved. Asking for feedback, or suggestions as to how to improve the lesson. To help them engage more is also a very, very good practical way of doing it. So encouraging a managed voice. So managed voice is important. Sticking your hand up as a form of non managed voice, you know, the kids who quickly put their hand up.
Simon Currigan 10:16
What would you say to teachers who are nervous about increasing the sense of pupil power and agency?
Kevin Hewitson 10:22
Don't be, there's a whole bit in my book, which is about the confident teacher, I think you've hit a key point there. The confident teacher is one who doesn't avoid pupils challenging what they're saying or what they're doing, but uses it to their advantage. Give you a quick example, one of my mentors said to me never ignore the red herring question because what kids are doing is giving you a view into their world, use it. You might see that as being a challenge, you know, the kid trying to put you off track, but what they're doing is trying to reach out to you, they're trying to establish a relationship with you is trying to have a voice. So the red herring question, don't let it go. You never know when it might come in useful.
Simon Currigan 11:01
OK, so let's move on to the next part of the framework. It was B which stood for belonging. What's the impact of 'belonging' in the classroom, especially here for hard to reach kids?
Kevin Hewitson 11:10
Well, without welcoming pupils into our schools, in our classrooms, building any form of relationship is almost impossible. We all want the feeling of belonging, a sense of belonging some way, and a feeling a sense of belonging drives many of our social behaviours and decisions, you only have to ask anybody how did you see the football last night, you know, people have opinions about this club, or that club or the cricket or whatever, there's lots of topics where people will associate themselves with and to gain the sense of belonging. So we have to create that sense of belonging in some way. Even if the behaviour in school challenges what school wants in terms of behaviour, policy, or expectancy in terms of social rights and wrongs, pupils will still adopt the behaviour, if the need to belong is strong enough, it's one of the key things that a teacher has to be very, very careful with. That's why you as a teacher, you must create that sense of belonging. When I used to say to teachers, "stand at the door, and the face and expressions and your actions have got to say, Welcome to my world. It's exciting, interesting and challenging. But I'll hold your hand all the way". And if we can do that, then we've got a better chance of forming relationships, and improve pupil engagement in learning and reducing conflict.
Simon Currigan 12:27
So practically, how do you develop that sense of belonging with kids who are opting into groups where the norm is, school isn't for me, what kind of practical things can you say and do?
Kevin Hewitson 12:38
Meet up outside the classroom. So it's a neutral territory, almost got to think of it that the classroom can be a toxic environment for some pupils actually going in there sets up the anxiety and stress levels even before they start, it might not need much to kick off. So meet up outside of the classroom, be at the point where you'll know kids will pass by and you can start the engagement in conversation, foster school trips, and take part in school trips. It's one of the great things I mean, the number of times I've taken kids on trips, who the school will say no, you can't take them because their behaviour hasn't been good. You know, you're getting on the school trip. I know the best kids in the world. So I exclude them from it, show them as a positive side to you as well help build that relationship. Meet and greet in the corridor or in the lunch queue. Just be out and about be that smiley friendly face that is approachable. I do want teachers that are look a glance a word can turn a kid off forever. So just that kid coming up to you might have took months to approach you. So although these things impact on your time, I think you've got to balance that out against the time spent with dealing with pupils who lack engagement or motivation or demonstrate poor behaviour it's never wasted.
Simon Currigan 13:49
Okay, so we've covered power and we've covered belonging, the next part of your framework is C which stands for choice. Why does choice matter? And what do you mean by choice in this context, in the context of the classroom?
Kevin Hewitson 14:02
Choice is a difficult one, we need to manage choice, because so much of the teaching and learning environment involves making choices. But these choices are often made in terms of the topic, the content, the delivery levels, the pace, the assessment, the seating, the grouping, the guidance, just to name a few. However, things are school or teachers choices, and not the choices of the learner. So important lesson to learn is that choice brings consequences, and therefore a sense of responsibility to our actions. That's why we have to build it into the choices we involve the pupils in, because once we develop the mechanism for choosing by offering choice and guiding that choice, we also then develop a sense of responsibility for the choices we make. So choices may help us deal with learning challenges, because it might allow us to take a different course of action.
Can you give us a practical example of that?
Yeah, I mean, sticking with only one way of doing something is limiting. That's true in learning as it is in any other activity. An example teachers of history, the students who demonstrate they have an understanding of a particular event in history. Typical way, answer some questions, yeah, test, or they could write an essay. But could we do a newspaper article? Could we record an interview with somebody? So you know, could we produce a play? There are lots of ways we could do that. But that has to be carefully managed. I'm gonna give an example of where a pupil might fail in that, because they take choice not understanding the consequences. So David says, Oh, I'll do the video Sir. Because he hates writing, doesn't like tests. And so sees doing the video as the easiest way of doing it. He doesn't understand that involves writing the script and getting to grips with the video equipment, and getting people organised to be the right place the right time in order to do it. So after the first interval, where we're doing the signposting, how far have you got, what progress are you making, or have had some difficulties with the camera, you can imagine the excuses which will be trotted out, and we get to the end, and David hasn't got a project, he hasn't got anything to show. So whilst there is options, we can build options in with a bit of creativity, we have to be careful that the pupils are aware of the consequences of the choices that they make.
And I guess as well, because our pressure of time and just the quantity of content teachers have to deliver, we've often stripped those choices right back just to get through everything, what we need to do is actually give them the skills to execute on those choices. Plan ahead how to think about those consequences. Know that I need to do A and B before I get to C
Yeah, that's right. And if we don't do it, how can we expect pupils to make good choices later on, even in life?
Simon Currigan 16:47
Okay, so we've looked at power, we've looked at belonging, and we looked at choice. Finally, F in your framework stands for fun. Can you give me an example of how using fun has helped you improve classroom relationships and the behaviour in the classroom as a result?
Kevin Hewitson 17:01
Firstly, fun is one of the greatest challenges for teachers a great challenge because they need to associate fun with achievement, and a lot of achievement at the moment is grade level, exam, etc. And these are really alien to learning. So we've got to come back a few steps. And we got to take the time to associate fun with achievement. But teachers are not stand up comics, and neither should they be. But in many ways, lessons are learning a theatre, and we have to remember the elements of fun within theatre, why'd you go to the theatre, you got to be entertained, to be engaged? Well, we want the engagement aspect of that, don't we, as teachers, another warning, unless the learner is meeting their need for fun within the lesson with you and with the subject content, then there's an increased possibility that they will search for it elsewhere, we need to have that sense of fun met, especially when we're trying to engage something where we might be nervous or anxious. How individuals will respond to a lack of fun will vary. Fun is often the best reason we have for doing something. So my question would be why leave it out at learning. I mentioned about this challenging group I got given eighteen pupils who are excluded from lessons, and they're given to me to do my thing with. When I went into the classroom to meet them, they physically turned their chairs around to face the back wall away from me, and made it very clear that they weren't going to talk to me at all. So they refuse to write, they refuse to do anything. Quiet disobedience, which should add an element of respect for me, I suppose, in a way because they didn't kick off. So I had to find a way engaging them. That was the one day I went into some plain paper and started doing some folding. And one person turned was asked me what I was doing. I told them that we had an agreement, they did what they did, I did what I did, and we didn't interfere with each other and everything was fine. But they persisted and asked me what I was doing. So I said, Well, why don't you come over, bring a chair up. And I'll show you. So I went back to the beginning, started the exercise, give them a piece of paper. Before long I had the whole class while I didn't know what they were making, but they were following along. When we got towards the end, it dawned on them that we were making a rather complicated origami aeroplane, you can see that what we're going to do now and so somebody threw one and then look to see if they've got to get into trouble. And he didn't. So somebody else threw one. And so we had everybody throwing aeroplanes around the classroom. So you know, building that element of fun in eventually broke that barrier down. And we had beginning of building a relationship. Yeah, widely fun out of learning.
Simon Currigan 19:37
And how can our listeners find out more about your book?
Kevin Hewitson 19:39
If you can't reach them, You can't teach them. Well, first of all, I have to emphasise that it's written as a learning journal. And it's something I hope that we can build a community of interest around where we can use as a focal point to share ideas. The book is available from Critical Publishing. Critical Publishing website, so do a search for them. You'll find it it's in the usual places as well, Amazon, etc. You can find out details on my own website, which is www.ac e-d.co.uk. The ACE-D, by the way, is short for Advocating Creativity in Education, which is the company I set up to try and use as a vehicle to promote these ideas. You can email me directly at email@example.com. You can explore my blog, which is 4C3D. So 4C3D, that's the WordPress blog. And my Twitter handle is @4C3D2.
Simon Currigan 20:45
And we'll also drop direct links to the book in the show description.
Okay, so that's Kevin's framework for creating a positive classroom climate and forming those positive relationships that are essential for success.
I'd just like to take a pause for a moment and say that if you're finding this podcast useful, then you're going to love what we've got waiting for you in our Inner Circle programme. The Inner Circle is your one stop shop for all things behaviour. It's a comprehensive platform filled with videos, resources and behaviour inspiration to get you unstuck with classroom behaviour. We've got training resources on de escalation, supporting kids with anxiety, support strategies for conditions like autism, ADHD, and PDA. Practical ways of helping pupils deal with strong emotions, assertive behaviour management techniques for managing the whole class, setting out your classroom environment for success. Resetting behaviour with tricky classes, and more. Our online videos walk you through practical solutions step by step. Just like Netflix, you can turn an Inner Circle subscription on or off whenever you need to, with no minimum contract. Plus, you can now get your first seven days of Inner Circle for just one pound. Get the behaviour answers you've been looking forward today with Inner Circle visit www.beaconschoolsupport.co.uk. and click on the Inner Circle picture near the top of the homepage for more information.
But what's next?
So we're going to move on to Pamela Tseu's advice specifically about using care and praise to reach students to make them feel recognised and motivated to do the right thing. And when you listen to this, listen for the section where she explains the difference between praise and care and how using praise without care can actually be really manipulative on the part of the adult and kids see right through it. She explains how to get praise, right.
So now here's Simon's interview with Pamela.
I'd like to say a big welcome to the show today to our guest, Pamela Tseu. Pamela has worked as an educator for her whole career and is on a mission to transform how we do classroom management. Her aim is to help students not just behave better, but desire to behave better. To help teachers achieve this, she's developed seven tools to improve classroom management. And she described her approach as classroom management without rewards, punishment, or wasted learning time. She's got a lot of interesting things to say about schools behaviour and classroom management. And I know there's going to be lots of practical information that you're going to be able to take away and start using immediately. Pamela, welcome to the show.
Pamela Tseu 23:30
Thank you so much good to be here. What can we do to help the students want to behave? You know, if we extrinsically motivate them to do something, then they find the success, then hopefully, they find the intrinsic motivation to continue to do it.
Simon Currigan 23:43
Okay, so when you work with teachers, and you see the impact of using these systems and the seven tools, what do you see? What is the impact in the classroom?
Pamela Tseu 23:51
Oh, that's a beautiful question. Because my job and the whole reason for the system is to make the teacher's job easier. So my two goals is to simplify teacher's job, and to increase learning. What we're doing is preventing misbehaviors, right? And that is the main goal, of course, but that's also this goal is when we use the right tools, then we are able to actually attain that classroom environment where the students want to behave. So we're not fixing behaviours, we're preventing them. And that's how we know that it's successful.
Simon Currigan 24:21
Right. And so let's dig into these tools. The tools are the teaching expectations with exactness tool, the care component tool, the focus intervention tool, the effective and engaging lessons tool, the classroom setup tool, the preparing yourself tool and the self control tool. Now, today, we're not going to have time to dig into all seven of these. So I'd like to do a deep dive on two. Can you tell us about the care component tool?
Pamela Tseu 24:48
It's one of my favourites because it really is the foundation of the success of the rest of the tools. The care component tool basically is building relationships and I know teachers out there will know how important that is. It is extremely important to build relationships and I'm not sure if we actually know how impactful that is to getting the behaviours we want. These tools will not seem brand spanking new, but I'm just helping to find more use out of these tools. So for example, the care component tool is my secret weapon for your most challenging students, and to be cared about, that is just a great motivation for them to want to participate, for them to want to do the right things for them to want to even if it's just a straight favour to you, as a teacher, you asked me to do something, I will do it because I know that you care about me. The tricky thing about this tool is that I think it's misunderstood, I think there's more that we can do with it. For example, we talked about the difference between care and praise. So praise is complimenting and acknowledging a student's behaviour. And we do that very well. But care is acknowledging them for who they are as a person, and that digs deeper to their connection to you. And so the danger of using praise and not care is that we aren't making that heart to heart connection. I mean, Praise is good. I mean, who doesn't want to be acknowledged for what they're doing good. But what's more important to building true relationships is building the relationship for who they are, regardless of what they've done. So I tell teachers, if you can actually tell them after they've thrown a chair across the room, at the end of the day, you still say, I'm so glad you're in my class, I can't wait to see you tomorrow, that tells the student without a doubt that you deeply, deeply care about who they are, and not necessarily contingent on what they do.
Simon Currigan 26:33
Why do you think that has such a powerful impact on their behaviour?
Pamela Tseu 26:36
Because as human beings that's a deep need to be cared about and to belong, and to have people want you to be around, that's just human nature. That's what we dig into. That's why when we actually accept the student and the child for that, then that makes them feel more open and willing to be a part of this and to be a part of the success and to want to give back.
Simon Currigan 27:00
When we use praise. That could be just business, a business relationship between the teacher and the pupil. But what does using care take beyond that business relationship?
Pamela Tseu 27:09
Well, I think we connect as human beings at that point versus that business relationship, I think of praise being detrimental if care is not used, as well, because it's a slight, gentle, indirect form of manipulation, I will pay attention to you only if you do this behaviour. And so that's why it doesn't really connect with the student's heart to heart. Whereas if you just did that behaviour, and the student knows that you don't like that behaviour, and it was inappropriate, and it was wrong and detracted from the learning, but you still like them, and you still care that they're in your class, that just speaks volumes to the connection that you have. And that's what true relationships are.
Simon Currigan 27:48
Let's move on to the next tool, which we're going to look at, which is the focus intervention tool. How does that work?
Pamela Tseu 27:53
Just to give you some frame of reference, it's similar, and it very much looks like a think time where you reflect on something in the corner, okay, It very much looks like a time out. But it's extremely different because of how it works with the other tools. So for example, you're showing care, the student knows that you care about them, right? We have that established, I personally only have three expectations that I teach my students throughout the year. One of them is how to pay attention to the speaker, there are three criteria, which is to have a quiet voice, looking and have a quiet body, they're very concrete, right? So if I have taught that, then we don't need the focus intervention tool, the focus intervention tool is just an extension. So how it works is the student will, for example, be talking. So what will happen is, as I've taught this procedure as well, which is and I use the acronym fit, going over to the Fit table, they fill out a form, it has a few questions, one of them is what did you do wrong? If they cannot say that I did not have a quiet voice, then I didn't really teach that well to them. Because as teachers, if they cannot tell us how to do something back to us than we didn't teach well, so that's the key. It's a reflection time. And so it's not only a reflection time, it's a time for us to assess if we've taught them well. Because if they go there, and they say I have no idea what I did wrong, when I go into classrooms, I ask them that question. Have you ever gotten in trouble and not know why and 100% of the time 95% of them raise their hands? Have you ever gotten in trouble and not know why can you imagine how frustrating that is? I know it'd be frustrating for me is I don't know how to succeed. And then I get scolded for it. What did I do that I was supposed to do? That's extremely frustrating. It's not setting them up for success. So we're doing that. And so what happens with this tool is a time for us to look at if we taught it well. I've had students say, I don't know what I did wrong. And then I have to go back and reflect on my teaching. So how it works basically, they go there, fill out the form, bring it back to me, and we're done. No more lecturing, no more teaching because I was supposed to do the teaching before they made the mistake, not after. Now, if they didn't learn it, then I suppose I have to go back and reteach it re teaching and I'm using quotes. It's really a punishment for them. They don't want to hear anymore. If they know what they did wrong then it's just a matter of choice. And this is what I tell them to I said, the reason we have this focus intervention tool, the reason we use this is because I've taught it to you, you've succeeded, I've seen you succeed, you know how to do this expectation. So when you don't do it at that point, it's a choice. And that's what I need you to step back and go, What did I think about and that's the accountability, and that's the reflection that needs to happen. And when that happens, it's self acknowledgement. They take responsibility, and they don't do it again.
Simon Currigan 30:25
That self reflection sounds like it might be something that it takes a while or several goes for the child to be able to access effectively.
Pamela Tseu 30:34
If we've taught it well, then it shouldn't, for example, when we teach how to do long division, if we've taught it well, the first time, and if we've differentiated using teaching expectations with executives, right? How have we taught it to them? If we taught it step by step, assessing their understanding as we go, then we know that they've learned it. And so that should be that.
Simon Currigan 30:54
So when kids start to take accountability, and they go to the Fit table, and they work through the process, and they're able to say which of your concrete expectations they've not met over time what's the impact on the child?
Pamela Tseu 31:04
That is a great question. Well, I have to start with a funny story. Because one time I was teaching the process, okay, if I say this and allow you go to the table, I have the student who said, you know, I'm just gonna go over there and fool around, and I didn't see anything, because I know the power of this. And I know the how the tools work together. And I know the respect and the whole system encourages self accountability and all those good things. So I didn't really respond. When I said, Hey, we need you to go to the fit. He said, Yes, ma'am. He got up, walked over, filled out the form brought it back to me, no learning time was lost. He stayed in the learning environment. The result is a calm humility. Actually, they understand that they made a choice. That was not appropriate, because we build community. And they know that when they do something like that, that they're taking away from the class, because that's all a part of the teaching. When I taught this expectation, why is it important that we pay attention to the speaker? Why is it important that you don't talk out when we're trying to learn, you know, all this stuff, the part of the conversation, the fact that they're a part of it is building respect and buy in? And so when they do this, they reflect on all of those things, oh, I just made a mistake I'm taking away from the class, you know, and all those thoughts come back to them and all those feelings, and they can't put it into words. But that humility is like, yeah, I just, I just messed up. And I know what to do.
Simon Currigan 32:23
So we've talked about two powerful ideas. So far, we've talked about going beyond praise, using care to build relationships with kids. And we've talked about using your focus intervention tool about helping kids take responsibility for what's happened, and then monitoring their own behaviour and future because they want to be part of an important group. When you start using these approaches. And the other five tools you've developed, how quickly can I teach your take on your approach and your system,
Pamela Tseu 32:47
it really boils down to their ability to two things, first of all, their ability to learn about and learn how to use the tools and how to use them together. But the tools do work, and they work eventually, if you stick with them.
Simon Currigan 33:01
You say embedded in the tools are respect, care, fairness, clear expectations, empathy, and empowerment. How do those aspects work together to improve classroom management?
Pamela Tseu 33:12
Well, if we put ourselves in the place of the students, if we were in a place where we were respected, and we were cared about, and we were treated fairly, because everybody had an opportunity to succeed, because everybody was taught and prompted to successful behaviours, expectations were clear. So I knew exactly what I needed to do to succeed. There's empathy in the classroom, like teacher gets it, she says, You know what, you're not a bad kid, because you want to use your cell phone, you're just normal, but you just can't. Use those types of conversations. Now you know exactly what to do to succeed. So for example, I'm gonna give you a little story about Cole, and I'm not changing names. So Cole was a sixth grader. He wasn't in my class, he was in another teacher's class. And often when we would go out to, you know, change, go to a specialist, or go to lunch or whatnot. He's sitting outside in the hallway. So I knew that he had trouble with behaviours. At one point, we went to a camp, and I pulled him to the side, I saw what he was doing, he's just blurting out just not paying attention. So I pulled him to the side and I said, you know, what Cole when your teacher is talking, or when anybody is talking to you, all you need to do is look at them and not say anything. And he said, "Oh!", for the first time, like his heart, opened his eyes open his brain open. He said, "that's all I have to do"? We made it very concrete. And he was empowered to succeed from there because he knew with clarity, what the steps were for success, and that's empowerment, when you give them the tools Exactly. And they know with clarity that that's how you do it. So when we have that in front of us, we want to behave we want to find that success because one of our foundational beliefs we have. Students want to succeed, they want to, they don't wake up in the morning saying I am going to mess up my teachers life today. They go I want to succeed today. And when we are clear, and we care about them, we change the trajectory for their day, or for their career or for their lifetime, right because we are giving them the tools that they need to be successful. And when we do that, of course they're gonna want to behave.
Simon Currigan 35:07
It sounds like they work together to produce what you started talking about at the start of the interview, which is relationships.
Pamela Tseu 35:13
Yes, it starts with relationships. But I always have to warn us that it's not all about that, because we are really good at relationships. I feel like when we have relationships with the students, we take them halfway. But now they're like, Okay, what's next? I know, I want to do what you want me to do. But what is it that you want me to do? And so when we're not clear about that, then they keep making mistakes. And although they know that we still care about them, that's still not good enough for them, because we want to set them up for success, right? So we need to be clear and teach them.
Simon Currigan 35:43
We've only scratched the surface about your system for improving classroom management, how can our listeners find out more about your tools and your other behaviour support resources?
Pamela Tseu 35:52
I would love for your listeners to go to my website. And on the website, the best best best way is to not only learn about all the seven tools, but how to use them. We have a course called become an ace and classroom management in 45 days, it's 45 lessons that are 20 to 30 minutes that I would love to give to your listeners for 20% off, can we put a link in your show notes that teachers can get that?
Simon Currigan 36:17
Yeah, sure, absolutely. We'll make sure it's in the show description. So if you open the podcast app and have a look at the show description, you will see a direct link there with instructions of how to get your discount.
Pamela Tseu 36:27
On the website is where you will find more of the things that are upcoming such as I'm coming out with a book, I do give teacher retreats, which are really fun because we embed the preparing yourself tool which is self care. And we can all agree that self care is really important to being a good classroom manager. So we embed all of those fun retreat type feeling things and teach you how to actually use that tool. In the retreat. I also have a podcast we learn about teachers from all over the world, just everyday teacher heroes making a difference. And classroom management is an issue all over the world. It's the same, kids are kids. But the beauty of this is that humans are humans and the desire to connect heart to heart to be able to rationalise those are all universal human being qualities that we work towards with these tools, I would love to offer free training as I do that on my Instagram account, daily training, we pick a tool a day. So join me there as well as on Facebook, we have an art of customer management. We have live sessions where we hash out these tools and how to actually use them, as well as talk about a lot of interesting topics on our Facebook.
Simon Currigan 37:29
Yeah, I really liked what she said about praise and care there. It was a little piece of gold, and so helpful if you're struggling to make that all important connection with kids in your class.
So that was our first episode that brings together the best advice we've been given so far on a single topic to bring together the ideas and strategies we've heard in the past and put them into a coherent, actionable set of well, actions you can use in your classroom. If you liked it, tell us what you think. And if you didn't steal, tell us what you think.
And of course, we'll put direct links to Kevin and Pamela's resources in the show description.
If you want to know more about improving your classroom management, we've got a completely free download that goes with this episode called the classroom management score sheet. And so the score sheet, you'll find a list of 37 factors that have an immediate impact on classroom management.
And what's great about the score sheet is it's a list of things that you are clearly either doing or not doing. So think of it as a roadmap to improve your presence in the classroom. It's based on 1000s of observations that Simon and I have conducted between us. So you know, it's based on sound classroom practice.
And if you're supporting a colleague with their classroom management, it can help make your feedback and action points even more clear and objective.
Get your score sheet now by going to www.beaconschoolsupport.co.uk. clicking on the free resources option in the menu, and you'll find it near the top of the page. It's completely free. Get your copy today, we'll drop a link in the episode description too.
Finally if you've liked what you've heard today, make sure you don't miss future episodes by opening up your podcast app now and clicking the subscribe button or follow as it's now called in Apple podcasts. And for those of you that do decide to subscribe to this podcast, I really recommend sitting in a darkened room and reevaluating your life choices.
That's it for today. Have a brilliant week and we look forward to seeing you next time on school behaviour secrets. Bye.
(This automated transcript may not be 100% accurate.)